Is Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh gradually finding himself isolated in the scheme of things with Congress high command? The latest in the series of setbacks is the resignation of Prashant Kishor as his principal adviser with barely few months left for the state assembly polls.
Kishor wrote a letter to Amarinder on Thursday, saying he was stepping down as the adviser as he had taken “temporary break from active politics”.
Kishor had successfully guided Amarinder to victory in 2017 assembly polls, pitching him as “Punjab da Captain” in what was touted as a tough political battle with emergence of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP). Few months ago, Kishor had decided to take up the advisory role again for the 2022 state elections, a development which many saw as an endorsement of Amarinder as the face for the polls.
But Kishor’s resignation has fuelled a speculation that the CM is now getting increasingly isolated in Punjab Congress. Kishor’s resignation comes days after Navjot Singh Sidhu was handed over the reins of the Punjab Congress. Highly placed sources revealed that even before the formal appointment of Sidhu, Kishor was reportedly in touch with MLAs and leaders who were siding with the cricketer-turned-politician.
“We do understand that he was trying to gauge the mood within the party in the state and could have played some role in Sidhu’s appointment as well. The fact that he has given up on the CM under garb of a ‘break’, indicates that Captain could be completely isolated in the state politics,” remarked a senior leader.
This could also mean a diminishing influence of Amarinder in the party affairs and perhaps a lesser say in the distribution of tickets for the upcoming assembly elections. “On the face of it, it seems that Sidhu is holding more sway on the party high command and even old associates like Kishor are distancing themselves. Eventually, this could be reflected in the ticket distribution,” said a leader from Malwa.
Political observers are now awaiting Amarinder’s next move after him being pushed to the corner. “Interesting would be to see, whether he fights back and ensures he continues to have a say in party politics or surrenders to the new power centre that has emerged in the state unit. Whatever path he chooses will have a huge impact on the Punjab politics,’’ remarked a senior leader.